08/10/2012 06:16 pm ET Updated Oct 10, 2012

Attention, Incoming College Freshmen!

Preparing for college can be an extremely overwhelming experience. When I first attempted to put together a list of things I would need I didn't know where to begin. Time and time again I experienced that "I know I'm forgetting something but I don't know what it is" phenomenon. The annoying part is it only gets worse as summer approaches its end and more things begin to clutter your mind. Before you know it, you're all moved into your dorm and then the realization that you actually do need the things you thought you didn't slaps you in the face. So, let me make your life a little easier and give you a few pointers on the things you must have before they completely slip your mind or don't enter your mind at all.

Earplugs. Every college student needs some quality sleep time to make up for those late nights doing homework or being out with friends. Sometimes sleep attacks during the time when dorms may be their busiest, or sometimes inconsiderate people will sabotage your rest. The same thing applies when it comes to studying. Dorm walls don't do much to keep sound out so earplugs really do come in handy. Also, let's be honest, sometimes roommates get a little annoying too. We all need to find our peace and quiet somehow, right?

Rainboots. Weather can be pretty unpredictable and you don't ever want to be stuck in class with soggy socks and shoes. Trust me, it's not fun. Also, if you live near the beach you wouldn't want to miss out on a tide pooling trip due to a lack of boots!

Electric Water Boiler. You WILL pull all-nighters, you WILL need coffee, and the café WILL be closed. I don't think I need to say more.

Stapler. I don't know why this is but about 70 percent of the students that lived in my dorm house last year didn't own a stapler. My friends would always come running to my room to borrow my stapler before leaving to turn in their papers. Don't be a part of the mob.

Last, but definitely not least, remember to take with you a token of appreciation given to you from your loved ones. If you've never left home before, moving away can be a really difficult change to grow accustomed to. Sometimes you can get homesick or lonely, sometimes you may feel a bit left out or unappreciated, but if you're reminded of the love that reaches out to you from home everything instantly becomes better. It'something you should never forget.

By Diana Vega, University of California, Santa Cruz